Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #2
Genre: Science Fiction Novella
Source: Hardback, Library
Publishing Date: 2018
Synopsis: It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.
Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.
What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…
I love Murderbot! These books by Martha Wells are such fun to read. Murderbot is so self-aware. I keep thinking of her as female though she’s actually neither male nor female and doesn’t want to be either. It’s hard for me to think of her as “it” as that seems to make her less than she is. However, the author makes a point of calling Murderbot an it so I guess I have to follow that lead. The fact that Murderbot has organic parts as well as inorganic parts makes it hard to think of it as property and with no feelings. Murderbot hacked its “governor” (which made it do whatever humans told it to do) which makes Murderbot’s desire to just watch video serials understandable. Even though Murderbot was treated as an object owned by a company and had to obey orders it has strong ethical beliefs.
This is a short book, but lots is packed in to the story. Murderbot is on its own in this book though it makes some friends along the way. It has decided to investigate what happened in its past–why it calls itself “Murderbot.” After that incident Murderbot’s memory was mostly wiped so it has only vague memories of what happened
Since Murderbot is traveling alone it is posing as an augmented human since security units are either owned by a company or have a human guardian. It hitches a ride on a research transport vehicle that it names ART. ART initially scares Murderbot, but they come to an understanding and help each other. I love the interactions between Murderbot and ART. There’s a lot of snark as well as genuine feeling between them.
The book has mystery, humor, adventure and danger. I already have the third book in the series!
My Rating: A-
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